Columnist joins shadow cast in ‘Rocky Horror’

Katie Finlon

As of last Friday, I am no longer a virgin.

In the Rocky Horror Picture Show sense, that is.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show, performed by the troupe A Powerful and Irrational Mouthwash, had its opening night 8 p.m. Friday at the Egyptian Theatre, 135 North Second St.

The movie centers around the mishaps of a recently-engaged couple, Janet and Brad. They run into many a Transylvanian, and they soon become mixed with the shenanigans of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, a transsexual Transylvanian who has the hots for everyone in the movie.

Everyone.

While the movie is playing on a huge screen, there is a shadow cast acting out the entire movie on stage.

According to RockyHorror.com, The Rocky Horror Picture Show was originally considered a failure after its initial release in 1975. The film was “rediscovered” in 1976—on April Fool’s Day—by a young advertising executive, and the cult following around the movie was born when Louis Farese started the trend of yelling specific responses to the screen.

“It’s a 30-year-old cult following,” said Villa Park resident Chrissy Bellanger, a member of the acting troupe.

I had absolutely no idea what to expect going into this particular performance. I had a vague idea of how I might be mildly hazed as a Rocky Horror virgin—surely there would be some form of public humiliation—but that was about it.

As soon as I had two Vs drawn on my face with red lipstick, I knew I was in pretty deep with the entire experience.

Of course, at the very beginning of the show the emcee asked all of the 18-and-up Rocky Horror Picture Show virgins to stand. Of course, by sheer coincidence, I was picked to join the cast onstage.

The public humiliation involved guessing which behind belonged to which cast member. I guessed the behind’s owner correctly and was left onstage as a finalist. The final round was judged based on applause and I, receiving the least applause, won.

I suppose you can say I was the top virgin. When the top virgin wins that game, they are awarded a small role in the show as the bride in the beginning.

That’s how this scene reporter ended up onstage playing Betty Munroe Hapschatt. What I thought would be a fun night in the audience turned into my Egyptian Theatre debut.

A Powerful and Irrational Mouthwash will perform again 8 p.m. Oct. 5 and Nov. 16. Doors open at 7 p.m. and admission is $10.